Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bobcat in Crystal Cove State Park

I grew up in Bobcat country and have never seen one. On our trip to Southern California, we stayed in Newport Beach. One of my favorite places to take a walk is in Crystal Cove State Park. It has a mixture of tide pools, bluffs, scrub and is just nice habitat.

On this walk, I got the surprise of my life. I saw a murder of American Crows making a fuss about something. Then out of the scrub popped this Bobcat, not more than 30 yards down the path and it just started walking towards me!

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

“Okay,” I though to myself, “just ease the camera out of the holster and just be cool and get the shots before it hops back in the brush.”

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Much to my surprise, it just kept trotting towards me.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

At this time, the photographer instincts started to kick in. I wanted to squat down and get a decent background. But rule number one with carnivores, keep yourself safe. I don’t have experience with wild cats and crouching down to look them in the eye may not be a “safe” thing to do.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

And yet the cat just kept coming! By now, it is abut 10 feet from me and the camera is having a hard time figuring out exactly what I’m trying to focus on. “Uh, what’s my f-stop? Have I got enough depth of field? Who gives a crap? Just keep shooting!”

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

By now the cat has passed within three feet of me and kept walking up the path. I picked my jaw up off the pavement and looked over my shoulder. It turned around and started walking back towards me!

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

And then hopped into the brush.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

I could hear a few birds alarm call and then she disappeared. I just looked at the time stamps on the photos. This whole encounter took 39 seconds.


Chris said...

Wow that's an incredible encounter Steve and a beautiful sight and story... And the pictures are awesome. I guess this did your day!!

sheila lynch said...

That's an amazing post! She looks hungry. I love the pointy ears with the black hair points. Time seems to stop when things like that happen, 39 seconds and you will remember forever, so cool!

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

What luck! Simply a gorgeous feline. I have yet to come across one in the wild but to have one walk right up to you, amazing. Someday, I can only hope.

Arija said...

Wow, what an encounter! Glad you kept your head and kept shooting. Great photos and amazing to have her pass you and come back to check you out a second time. Great post.

Richard said...

The longest and shortest 39 seconds in your life. Great pictures.


WOW! That is awesome! Must have been the experience of a ifetime, seeing this beuatiful animal! We have them in Norway also, but I have never seen one. I wonder how fast your pulse was, with that powerful animal so close.... :))

Carol Mattingly said...

Steve, dont' you think you should have been more careful. I would have had to run for it. Of course I'm a chicken. Great images. Carol

Roy said...

Indiana Jones is alive and well and living in Cape Ann.{:)

Robin said...

Steve, wow, what a great encounter! Terrific shots! Once in a lifetime!

Eve said...

Maybe just wanted a pet! hahaha! Great encounter for sure!

hip-chick said...

I don't think I would have stuck around for the whole 39 seconds!

Cindy said...

Fantastic opportunity. I loved the comments about "what's the F stop, background... Oh just keep shooting." Great captures of an amazing gift.

Anonymous said...

I saw a Bobcat today on a bluff overlook at Reef Point. I was seated on a viewpoint bench reading and glanced up and the Bobcat was walking along the path towards me. The bobcat came within about 10 feet of me and went over the bluff.

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